Rocky Mountain park records 3.2M visitors
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK – The National Park Service estimates more than 3.2 million people visited Rocky Mountain National Park last year.
Park officials said Wednesday they changed the way they count the overall number of visitors last year, making accurate comparisons with previous years impossible.
But officials say statistics at individual park entrances can still be compared year-to-year.
The Beaver Meadows entrance, the park’s busiest, recorded 1.3 million visitors, down almost 18 percent compared with 2011. The Fall River entrance was down 1 percent to about 805,000 and Grand Lake was up more than 3 percent to about 432,000.
Park officials say unusual weather, construction on a major park road and wildfires in and outside the park affected visitor numbers.
Virginia man dies skiing at Breckenridge
BRECKENRIDGE – A Virginia man has died after a skiing accident at the Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Forty-five-year-old Robert Redmond of Reston died Wednesday at St. Anthony Hospital outside Denver. Summit County Coroner Timothy Keeling said Redmond was injured after hitting a tree while skiing on the Columbia Trail on Sunday. He was wearing a helmet.
Redmond is at least the fifth skier to die in crashes at Colorado ski resorts this winter. All but one resulted from crashes into trees.
Taylor Farms issues E. coli spinach recall
DENVER – A California company is recalling packages of baby spinach that could be contaminated with E. coli.
The spinach was sold under five different labels in 36 states, including Colorado and Wyoming.
The labels subject to the voluntary recall are Simple Truth Organic, Marketside Organic, Taylor Farms, Central Market Organics and Full Circle.
Salinas-based Taylor Farms Retail says no illnesses have been reported.
Colo. foreclosure sales down 19 percent
DENVER – The Colorado Division of Housing says new foreclosure auction sales were down 19 percent last year.
According to a report released Wednesday by the state agency, there were about 16,000 foreclosure auction sales, or completed foreclosures, reported during 2012. That’s down compared with more than 19,000 in 2011.
Division economist Ryan McMaken says when the figures are adjusted for new housing, foreclosure levels are almost back at 2005 levels.
Udall: Budget bickering ties up new tankers
VAIL – U.S. Sen. Mark Udall says replacement air tankers may not be available to fight wildfires this summer.
Udall says budget disputes are holding up federal funding and firefighters may have to make do with what they have for another year.
According to The Vail Daily, the U.S. Forest Service’s entire fleet consists of 10 Korean War-era tankers.
Udall said he has asked the U.S. Air Force to outfit seven C-130 transport planes as makeshift air tankers to make up for the delay.
Forest officials say they’re worried because water supplies are low after two years of dry weather.